“Following the Prophet” = “Continuing Personal Revelation”

Over the past few years, I have read plenty of material written by faithful Latter-day Saints (none of whom have very high authority in the church) who insist that their leaders are not infallible and that LDS individuals must rely on “personal revelation” to confirm the official teachings coming from Salt Lake City.

Nice try, but to me, this is just “lip service.” Practically speaking, there is no doubt that the vast majority of the Latter-day Saint faithful listen carefully to their leaders and do not even attempt to “test it” using personal revelation. This theme seems to be emphasized by the leadership. For instance, in last fall’s general conference, two different general authorities dusted off Ezra Taft Benson’s “Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophet” speech and quoted all fourteen points, just for emphasis. Among other points, Benson’s speech emphasized how the prophet could speak outside his area of expertise and did not have to use the phrase “Thus Saith the Lord” for it to be considered authoritative. Two different sermons, same message.

Thus, I’m smiling right now as I look at the front page of the “Faith” section of Saturday’s Salt Lake Tribune (“Infallible? Mormons told to ‘follow the prophet’,” written by Peggy Fletcher Stack, 3/26/11, pp. C. 1,2).

The article was written in time for this weekend’s spring general conference. Stack refers that after the men have given their counsel from the pulpit, the talks will be officially printed in the May 2011 Ensign magazine. They will also be “read, revisited and replayed at countless Mormon services across the globe. They will be treated with admiration and reverence. And each time (President) Monson enters a room, members will grow silent and stand as a gesture of unified deference.”

Listen to more selections of the article, supporting my hypothesis from above:

“Mormons don’t use the term ‘infallibility’ to refer to their leaders and readily acknowledge that they are imperfect men. In practice, though, LDS belief comes awfully close to that standard.”

“We pay lip service to the prophet’s fallibility,” says Edward Kimball, son of late LDS President Spencer W. Kimball. “But when you come down to specifics, we can’t think of any incidents where a prophet was wrong.”

“One of Smith’s most radical concepts was ‘continuing revelation,’ the notion that the scriptural canon did not end with the Bible and that well-established beliefs could be altered—even overturned—by new messages from haven to the leaders in charge. So much authority is ascribed to the LDS president, though, that quasi-prophet worship by the far-flung members of the 14 million-member faith seems unavoidable.”

“Smith knew his limitations and said a church president spoke for God only when he was ‘acting as a prophet.’ But few Mormons then or now could separate the man from the office. Instead, many have elevated his stature into an impossible realm.”

Let me ask several questions at this point:

  • When is the last time that a general authority claimed his message centering on issues such as  Joseph Smith, pornography, sex before marriage, or the atonement was just “my personal opinion”?
  • When is the last time that one of these messages was followed with, “OK, I’ve laid this out for you. Now, go and pray about what I said, and if I’m wrong, then do just the opposite”?
  • One more: When is the last time that the LDS leadership gave any type of option for the people and claimed that there were other ways to interpret LDS scripture that would contradict the teachings of the current leadership?

I’ll believe an LDS apologist such as Michael Ash (who says the prophets are fallible and, in fact, often make mistakes) once the leadership condemns rather than quotes Benson’s “kick in the tail” speech. As long as a member’s “personal revelation” coincides with the teachings of the leadership, there should be no problems. And I don’t expect this philosophy to change anytime soon.

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51 Responses to “Following the Prophet” = “Continuing Personal Revelation”

  1. Verne Brown says:

    Oh this is choice –

    “But when you come down to specifics, we can’t think of any incidents where a prophet was wrong.”

    Tell me that the next time you throw Young under the bus for the Adam-God doctrine.

  2. setfreebyJC says:

    I don't think they will leave off on this strategy very soon, because it works so well for them. Anyone in the membership can find a quote to support anything they want to believe, on any side of any issue, so that they can just keep being in the church, assured that it is true. argh and yuck

  3. Verne, I am happy to see great minds think alike here, I was also going to quote this saying,

    “But when you come down to specifics, we can’t think of any incidents where a prophet was wrong.

    I was going to bring up the JS 9 different first vision accounts. And maybe the Blacks not holding the priesthood, or blood atonement, or a huge host of other issues that we could so easily mention.

  4. Engkei says:

    One thing that isn't covered is how the LDS people operate in terms of elections and voting, politics etc…Many people have commented on how they have a very strong tendancy to vote according to LDS values, and by statements made by LDS leaders. Some say that they do test what is said by praying before voting…and what do you know they get the same answer as the prophet.

  5. Kate says:

    I just want to know where all the "revelations" are. With General Conference coming up, I'll be waiting to see the new ones on the News. I don't know how many more Conferences can have the "Don't look at pornography" revelation. Which we all know is NOT a revelation! I would dare say all churches warn against pornography. Will there be something new to add to the D&C????

    “We pay lip service to the prophet’s fallibility,” says Edward Kimball, son of late LDS President Spencer W. Kimball. “But when you come down to specifics, we can’t think of any incidents where a prophet was wrong.”

    Well, at least he got the "We pay lip service" part right.

  6. Sarah says:

    I know there are lots of prophecies that Joseph Smith made that didn't come true. One was about the BoM copyright in Canada and another was about the temple being built in Missouri (was it? or am I mixing up locations) before a certain time. In both cases, the prophecies didn't come true. There was also a war prophecy that didn't come true.

    I brought these up to an LDS friend once, and she said she hadn't ever really examined JS's prophecies, but that just because they didn't come true didn't mean anything. Especially since maybe they just "didn't come true yet". That was specific to the war prophecy. I just read up on it again on MRM: http://mrm.org/civil-war

    I find it interesting, suddenly, that exactly what MRM says there at the end is, nearly, word-for-word the "excuse" I got from my friend. Bill says on MRM: In order to maintain the integrity of the Mormon prophet, some Latter-day Saints insist that this prophecy stretches beyond the Civil War and actually includes both world wars. To suggest such an interpretation shows how futile and frantic Mormon apologists can become. The prophecy clearly states these "wars" will begin with the rebellion of South Carolina. To say these world wars had any connection whatsoever with the rebellion at South Carolina defies reasoning.

    My point is that, of course you can think of incidents where Mormon prophets were wrong. Look at polygamy. Look at blacks holding the priesthood. Look at many MANY of JS's prophecies. Now I realize in the Bible that there are many prophecies that take a long time to come true — yes. But some of JS's are so specific …

    Let's not even get into the idea that one LDS prophet says one thing and another says something contradictory. It just completely boggles my mind: how is anyone to know "truth" period?

  7. Sarah,
    Sadly when people point out how JS prophecy's failed and did not come to pass, instead of the LDS looking into these issues and questioning what they believe, they try and say, well their are prophecy's in the Bible that never came to pass.

    But here is the problem. JS put a time frame on his prophecy's and said this will happen in the next 100 years for example, or this will happen and then these things never did. So the LDS try and say they are still yet future when clearly they are not. If you look into his prophecy's they were time stamped so to speak, They had specif details as to who would do what or when it would happen, and sadly they never came to pass.

    Now with the prophecy's in the Bible, Some are still yet future, but unlike JS, The prophecy's have great detail as to what will happen, but they are not "time stamped" Like, This will happen in the year….
    Or this will happen in so many day or weeks.

    Like for example, God told Adam and Eve, A savior would be born. Their was no time frame saying the exact time and day, Yet it came to pass. Now there was later prophecy's given to when Jesus would be born, and where He would be born, but just not to Adam and Eve. Then their was great detail as to How Jesus would Die, That His beard would be Ripped from His Face, that Soldiers would gamble for His Cloths, That His joints would be put out of place, that He would be offered Vinegar on a sponge, That His legs would not be broken and they would put a spear in His side, That He would be crucified between to thieves, and that a rich man would give up a tomb for Jesus.

    You can go on, their are over 300 exact to the detail prophecy's of the Birth and death of Jesus. JS cannot make those exact detailed claims for anything he prophesied about. Yet sadly with all this exact detail the LDS will still ignore the false claims of JS and defend his false prophecy's, and do their best to try and throw the Bible under the Bus. This just shows another prophecy in the Bible coming true if you want to call it a prophecy. That is people love darkness rather than light and they want to have their itching ears tickled and they sadly will pay for all of eternity as a result of rejecting the truth.

  8. Violet says:

    I try to be a scrapbooker and enjoy scrapbooking sites. The best ones are occasionally lds women blogs. Many, most sites merge religion, and how to be a better everything (mom, cook, teacher, etc.) lds woman into their daily life. Lots of articles about food storage, church, etc. The sites are extraordinarily interesting because lots of it is how to be more efficient, get more done. Lots of sewing (my dream), cooking. . . Anyway. I am rambling.

    Lots of sites have articles regarding how women can 'better prepare for general conference and get the most of it.' Lots of friends sites also have videos of conference.

    Being a regular Christian, I had no idea how familiar Monson's face is on these blogs and how he is the first thing you see if you open a page. (Kind of scary.) I like to listen and he will never, ever, give a sermon on the bible. Believe me, I am waiting. Lots of love is precious, our children are a treasure, the family is the most important, etc.

    Just writing this because the 'regular' midwest Christian has no idea how mormonism is the most important part of lds' lives.

  9. Engkei says:

    I heard something kind of odd about the pornography issue. I heard some bishop had counseled some couples to watch some to help the wife get pregnant. Also there was some story about some encouragement to view porn to those wishing to try and change their sexual orientation. I guess those went against the general authorities advice. Its not the first time, and I am sure its not the last.

    I was so disappointed when I baptized someone years ago. He later told me that the bishop actually told him that drinking alcohol was ok once and awhile, something like that. I think that made him really confused. The last time I saw him he was plastered on southern comfort. Its sad. I think the bishop was trying to tell him not to feel guilty, but to eventually kick the habit, but that message went south thats for sure.

  10. Engkei says:

    What would be interesting to know is what gets ignored in general conferences. Controversial and strange sermons of the past get ignored that is for sure. But what in current times gets ignored?

    I don't think anything new will be added anytime soon to the D&C. As much as what is made about revelations, that seems to be something pretty quiet. Just out of curiosity, does anyone know when the last scripture got cannonized into LDS scriptures?

  11. falcon says:

    I think my favorite, and I guess it isn't "prophesy but gets at the idea that these guys are suppose to be super enlightened, is when Mark Hoffman sold them some forged documents. The idea was that the higher-ups were so freaked out about the materials that they were attempting to get them purchased and buried.
    The only reason these guys are considered prophets is because it fits the Mormon narrative. The rank-and-file Mormons are so emotionally over the top with these guys that they can't see straight. The prophet has to be true and no amount of rationalizing is enough to dissuade them from keeping the fantasy going.
    Prophesy can be a foretelling of the future. That can be checked out so these dudes aren't going there. Their track record is no better than the average psychic or tarot card reader.
    There's a gift of prophesy as described in First Corinthians which is a lot like a word from the Lord or insightful words of encouragement from Him. This type of prophecy can be faked if the person gets their delivery down to sound authoritative. That's why Paul says that God's people are to practice discernment to test whether or not the person delivering the prophesy is delivering an authentic message.
    If you read some of the "prophesies" of Joseph Smith and the other early Mormon seers, they had the form down pretty good. Given the fact that the faithful Mormons bought into the false prophets, their belief in these utterances, though false, were true to them because they believed it. In this sense, perception is reality.
    Mormons don't think that Christians believe in modern day prophets and apostles and revelation so they get the idea that they (Mormons) have some super special deal going. So with that in mind, Mormons never stop to think that maybe what they've got a hold of isn't the real deal.
    There are Christian groups that have a solid doctrinal foundation in God's Word who very much believe in what is described in the Bible in Acts et al and believe it is for today. The key ingredient, of course, is that it flows from God's Word and not some fake scripture written by a man with help from a magic rock.

  12. wyomingwilly says:

    Eric, I also tend to think that most Mormons may say that they can evaluate the prophet's teaching by
    receiving a inner feeling that what he has said is true, but I don't think it goes quite that far . I think that
    for most Mormons it is enough that they trust him to be accurate , no praying about it etc. Mormons
    seem to be so proud that they alone have " the mouthpiece of God " on their side that they don't really
    spend any time second guessing him, ww

  13. wyomingwilly says:

    " infallible " ? I think it is wise for us to convey to our LDS friends that we don't believe the Mormon
    prophet is a perfect man, he is a sinner like all of us. What we need to ask LDs is , if it is necessary
    for their prophets (and apostles) to live consistent moral lives ? Then is it not necessary for them to
    also be consistent ,trustworthy spiritual guides ? We are told that the prophet is a teacher [ Gospel
    Principles 1997,p.47 ] We are also told that we would do well to place our confidence in him as a
    teacher. A past LDS manual has clearly assured us , " " The Lord will never allow the President of
    the Church to teach us false doctrine. " Well what does the teaching track record of Mormon prophets
    and apostles reveal ? Consistency ? Accuracy ? Rather it is a case of Eph.4:14 ; Gal.1:8-9 ww

  14. f_melo says:

    "Don't look at pornography"

    But Kate, conferences are usually all about pornography… if they ditch that, what can they focus on? I mean, it´s not going to be Jesus, for sure, and last conference much was said about the prophet, and Monson was praised like never before… what now, what is going to be the subject if they don´t talk about pornography and personal worthiness?

    It was funny, i think was Shawn McCraney who called mormon doctrine spiritual pornography… uhahuauhauhauh

  15. wyomingwilly says:

    One last important thought concerning the Mormon prophet. When we refer to Mormon prophets
    to be false prophets, this needs to be understood by our LDS friends that by our saying " false "
    prophet we are not saying "immoral" prophet. I truely believe that many LDS think those two terms
    to be the same. But not all false prophets are immoral men. Some do live decent lives and are good
    neighbors . A false prophet is one who fails to accurately relay God's truth to his followers, and
    when this false teaching concerns fundamental doctrine , such as who God is etc , then to believe
    that can be spiritually lethal. Even a popular LDS apostle said this was the case with believing false
    teachings. So LDS please test your prophets, examine their record, see if it matches their claims. ww

  16. f_melo says:

    "by our LDS friends that by our saying " false " prophet we are not saying "immoral" prophet"

    WW, actually, the fact that they are false means they are dishonest about who they are and that they are speaking for God. That also means therefore that they are a fraud, and imply many things, one of them is that they are there for money – something that the LDS abhor. Another one is that if the prophet is a false prophet he isn´t speaking on the behalf of God but of Satan.

  17. RalphNWatts says:

    Here is a prophet’s personal opinion centred on the WoW.

    Spencer W Kimball said – ”I never drink any of the cola drinks and my personal hope would be that no one would. However, they are not included in the Word of Wisdom in its technical application.” (Spencer W. Kimball, Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, edited by Edward L. Kimball, (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1982), 202.)

    Many member of the church advocate against drinking cola drinks and some even teach that it is doctrine. That is one thing I really hate, when members try and teach something as doctrine when it isn’t.

  18. falcon says:

    That's all well and good but the fact of the matter is that when it comes to prophetic standards, the LDS's are so low that just about anyone would qualify. The prophetic utterances don't have to be true and the rank and file cut the "prophets" so much slack that any Mormon could be one. The general rah rah don't look at porn proclamations and such are not prophetic. They are merely pep talks for the troops.
    Mormon prophets can't hear from the Mormon god because he doesn't exist. Check it out with the Mormon brethren over at the Community of Christ. Joe Smith's son was their prophet and they don't follow any of the doctrines that set the SLC bunch and the FLDS a part. Joe's son even said that if the old man practiced polygamy he was wrong. The SLC-LDS can't get the "W" word out when it comes to Smith. They practice absolutely no discernment when it comes to Smith or any of the LDS prophets. If they did none of them would be Mormons.

  19. Ralph,
    Here are the problems with the WoW. First it was simply good advice, Now it is Doctrine. Then it states "Hot Drinks" Yet you guys define hot drinks as Coffee and tea. But Hot Chocolate is OK, Then you try to rationalize why Hot Chocolate is ok and coffee and tea are not.

    Then you skip over the rest of the WoW and never mention eating meat sparingly, or in times of famine only, or using tobacco for washing your body Etc. The whole WoW is bondage and hypocritical. Lets not forget about JS and BY using alcohol and chewing Tobacco, and lets not forget how we find ways to allow them to do it but now if we do we cannot enter heaven.

  20. f_melo says:

    Ralph, i got a few questions – do you actually study what your leaders say in conference and then compare what they said with what is official doctrine to find out if they are right or not? And if you find out they are wrong, would you bring the issue up publicly?

    How about the LDS that went home after hearing BY preach about Adam being God? Do you think they questioned that BY was speaking as a prophet, or do you think they compared what he said with what the scriptures clearly teach?

    How many times are LDS leadership so clear as when they speak as a man or as a prophet, because it seems that quote is something rare to come across(you had to go deep to cherry pick that one among thousands), especially now after the 14 fundamentals have been emphasized, which absolutely destroys your argument thoroughly.

    See, in Mormonism to question the leadership, even if it is just a matter of personal opinion, you´re undermining that leader´s effectiveness. You´re encouraging people to second guess everything they say… That´s not a problem in Christianity though, since we are not trying to take over the world through a political kingdom on earth, because while we are in this sinful flesh no government will be free of sin, corruption, etc.

    We never second guess Jesus though, He proved to be who He claimed He was, contrary to Joseph.

  21. f_melo says:

    Violet, did you watch Shawn talking about his book "to the rescue"? I laughed so hard, it was so funny how he got that signed copy! Then the LDS say, we are Christian, why don´t people accept us as Christians 🙁

    I´m "anxious" to listen to how Monson blessed the lives of so many widows and friends by listening to the still small "voice".

  22. f_melo says:

    "But what in current times gets ignored?"

    David Bednar´s pickle metaphor!

    See http://lds.org/general-conference/2007/04/ye-must

  23. wyomingwilly says:

    f-melo, I see what you're trying to say . My point was that I think most LDS view a false prophet to be
    a man like Brian David Mitchell etc. They see their prophet as, a well dressed, humble, family values
    teaching leader so he could"nt possibly be a false prophet ! This is a mistake for LDS to make.
    False prophets can be "nice" men, but they introduce false teachings that rob the people of salvation.
    LDS need to understand that point.


  24. Engkei says:

    F Melo,
    I don't care for pickles, so its a bad metaphor for me from the very start. It does sound like a pretty good one for lds theology however. Most mormons would probably say what wrong with that? It makes more sense than some talk I heard about pecan trees vs. another type of tree. The only thing I remember is that the GE really liked pecan trees, and somehow we are supposed to become like a pecan tree.

  25. Engkei says:

    "That is one thing I really hate, when members try and teach something as doctrine when it isn’t. "

    There is almost no end to this sort of thing. Unapproved books like "Mormon Doctrine" written by Bruce McConkie does help either. My father had a copy, and I read that thing like it was meant as an official publication. It wasn't until I didn't attend anymore that I discovered its just his personal rant about lds ideas. Thats one of the things that make things confusing.

    IF the wow was about health, then its reasonable to exclude soft drinks of any type, caffeine or not. That is a major source of sugar, and if you don't drink it, you really are doing yourself a favor. If the WOW is symbolic, than it makes sense that only tobacco, coffee, tea, and alcohol are excluded. Just as keeping kosher is symbolic, but can also include items which are not healthy.

  26. falcon says:

    When it comes to being able to discern whether or not someone is a prophet, in many cases no real spiritual insight is needed; just a dose of common sense. Joseph Smith claimed visitations from all sorts of beings including Jesus, God the Father, John the Baptist, and I believe James, John and Peter as well as a super angel named Moroni. It doesn't take faith to accept this as fact only gullibility. Plainly speaking, Smith's claims are stupid! We've been over the fact that Smith was a champion of parlor tricks and he and his cronies were into second sight vision, peeking into the spirit world was their claim to fame. Believe me, anyone can do this if they're not real concerned about what kind of spirits will manifest themselves under the guise of heavenly creatures and dead people from the Bible.
    Please don't talk to me about the trans-figuration of Jesus. Jesus is God. If He wanted to talk to Moses and Elijah that was within His messianic purview. These false prophets and teachers like to piggy-back on something that happened in the Bible and say, "It's just like that!" Wrong!
    Joseph Smith was working on mysteries without any clues except what he could conjure up from his magic rock. His BoA was a total disaster as was his pronouncements on the Kinderhook plates with which he was conned. The BoM was a production of a monumental farce and can be debunked with little effort. Even the Community of Christ has moved on telling their members that they can view the book as "spiritual" and not an actual account of anything that occurred in history.
    So why do people believe it? Because they want to. It makes them feel good. It gives their life structure and meaning until of course the feeling subsides and they're left with nothing but a religion that demands a lot of work and money from them and keeps them under the tyranny of never having done enough to become one of the pantheon of Mormon gods and goddesses.

  27. 4fivesolas says:

    There is a new archeological discovery in the news. It is puported to be an ancient metal book of possibly 1st century Christian origins! Since Mormon prophets are known for their gift of translation, I wonder if Monson has been consulted. If not, why not?

    Perhaps this is, at long last, the chance to vindicate Joseph Smith and PROVE all of those long lost doctrines not found in Holy Scripture or the Book of Mormon for that matter. Secret temple ceremonies, eternal families, progression to godhood. Just let Monson get his hands on these hot little plates, and we may be amazed at what he finds. Or not. None of this "Mormon translation" business can be taken seriously (why not?? hmmmm). They said some of the plates were written in secret code – which makes me think these may not be Christian after all and some kind of mystery religion – which may be more akin to Mormonism after all!

  28. Violet says:

    f_melo. I love Shawn! I go to the website two times a day on Wednesday and Thursday just to see when the newest episode is out. Really enjoyed his interview with Mormon Stories' John Dehlin, when he originally did it. Told my husband, if anything happens to me, I want the children to watch it. Lots of freedom in Christ, and that He is the Truth. Wrote to Shawn a couple of times last year regarding ideas when he was still doing interviews. He actually answered me back with a short, thankful, polite note. Thought that was really great. His latest episode Interview IV, hotm.tv is the best. I always think he can't out do himself, then the next episode is better than the last.

  29. jackg says:

    We can't forget that the WoW is the result of Emma Smith complaining about having to clean up after the men, and how disgusting it was.


  30. jackg says:

    I'm all for a health code. We should be healthier. The problem with Mormonism is that the WoW has become a standard to the point that you cannot receive a TR if you don't obey it…and they don't ask if you're eating meat sparingly. Since the TR is the Mormon ticket to God's presence, that's huge.


  31. jackg says:

    Here's some insight into the Mormon mind. My sister-in-law once told me: "I know the Church is true, which means that whatever the prophet says in true, and that whatever I hear in Church is true." When people think like this, they no longer have ears to hear. It becomes a test of their faith, and they ultimately feel they are stronger because of such tests. They go to Fast and Testimony meeting once a month and leave feeling good about their testimonies. It doesn't matter that things don't make sense.

    My 17-year-old daughter, who no longer believes Mormonism and has come to faith in Christ, was talking to her mother about temple sealings. Her mother is on her third marriage and has to go through quite a process to be sealed to her current husband. In talking with her mother and great-aunt, my daughter mentioned that the temple marriage and sealing process did not make any sense, especially in cases of divorce and remarriage. The great-aunt answered: "We'll just have to wait for God to answer those questions when we get there."

    What more could we expect from a cult?


  32. falcon says:

    People believe false prophets first of all because they want to and secondly because the false prophets are convincing. Never underestimate the power of desire to manifest all sorts of feelings and the sense of the supernatural. I really don't mind asking hard questions when someone makes some sort of prophetic or supernatural claim. In fact, as Christians it's our duty to be skeptical.
    If Mormons would get serious about Bible study using an established systematic approach, they'd soon abandon the Smith myth. Prophetic con men count on emotions, masquerading as being spiritual, to hook people and keep them hooked. "Revelation" is way more intriguing than an intellectual approach to studying God's Word. False prophets rely on a sort of prejudice against the human intellect. And yet what did Jesus do, as well as His disciples, in account after account. They appealed to the Law, the Prophets and the Psalms to make their case.
    False prophets come up with their own "scripture" and use very creative means to spin the Bible to say what they want it to say.
    Some Mormons see the inconsistencies in the Mormon prophets prophecies and it's at that point that a decision needs to be made; stay or go. When these folks "lose" Mormonism they gain so much more because they've dumped a false religion for a personal relationship with the Jesus of the Bible; not the Mormon Jesus who has neither the ability to save or make a Mormon man a god.

  33. Jackg said

    Here's some insight into the Mormon mind. My sister-in-law once told me: "I know the Church is true, which means that whatever the prophet says in true, and that whatever I hear in Church is true."

    That logic is so stupid, just because someone says something is true does not make it so, Islam claims to be true, JW's claim to have the truth, atheists claim to know the truth, If we all claim to have the truth then we need evidence and not blind faith.

  34. Ted Bundy was a good looking clean cut guy, but he was also a hard core serial killer. Me on the other hand, some have meet me and seen what I look like, I look like the last guy you would ever want to meet in a dark ally. Yet we simply cannot judge by appearance.

    If you stood me next to Ted Bundy, you would say, I want Ted to be with me in that ally, yet he would want to take you in that ally and do some evil things to you. Me I would be the one to protect you from someone like him. Sad as it is we judge by looks and looks can deceive you. Just wish more people would wake up to that fact.

  35. f_melo says:

    "Perhaps this is, at long last, the chance to vindicate Joseph Smith and PROVE all of those long lost doctrines not found in Holy Scripture or the Book of Mormon for that matter. Secret temple ceremonies, eternal families, progression to godhood."

    I´m definitely not holding my breath. Last time a translation was checked we found out that the being that JS said was god was actually an Egyptian fertility god. I don´t know why mormons are excited about that… How would that prove the validity of the Book of Mormon? All that actually does is to raise the types of questions you should be asking, such as where are the evidences for the golden plates and the nephite civilization in general?

    Why can we find a 2.000 year-old private book and yet nothing at all has been found in the Americas to even give the smallest reason for you to consider believing in it? The Gnostics have more going even after two thousand years than mormonism has ever had.

  36. f_melo says:

    It´s not only stupid, but it assumes that the men running the church are infallible! That they can´t make mistakes and lead the church in the wrong direction.

    Mormons are quick to talk about how god promised he would never lead them astray, and yet ask them about how god would remove those wolves in sheep´s clothing to see them look puzzled. They forget that when Jesus was talking about false brothers we was accusing people in the church, not outside of the church.

  37. What is funny is, You find what might be a book of plates and the LDS get giddy, yet out in NY where we Supposedly had a battle where 2 million were killed, You would think we would be over whelmed with evidence. But it's so sad that we cannot find a single coin that LDS are now thinking that maybe this mythical battle really took place some where else.

  38. falcon says:

    I guess I'm the only lapsed Catholic that posts here (does that make me the resident expert on the Catholic faith?) but even with their Papal infallibility doctrine, it's pretty narrow in scope-as I remember it. Not so with Mormons as jackg pointed out above. It's an all or nothing kind of program where the Mormon people literally check their brains in and don't bother to use them in any sort of meaningful way. It's like the Vulcan mind meld I guess except that Spock was way too logical to be a Mormon.
    In Revelation chapter 2:2-3 we receive this Word from the Lord: " I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot endure evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not and you found them to be false; and you have perseverance and have endured for My Name's sake, and have not grown weary."
    Mormons do not put the so called Mormon apostles to the test. They just accept these fraudulent apostles without even stopping to consider the legitimacy of their calling. Why is it so easy for us to see these frauds for what they are and the Mormon people come close to worshiping them? It is our duty and obligation to test everything. Mormons can't do this because they are duty bound to accept everything. There is no place for independent thinkers in Mormonism.

  39. falcon says:

    The thought that a group of people, in this case Mormons, would hand over power and control of their spiritual lives to a bunch of men who claim to be prophets is totally unacceptable. God calls us to a one-on-one relationship with Him through His Son Jesus Christ. As such we have full, uninhibited access to the Father. While there is a structure to the NT Church, those in leadership are to be held accountable, respected, but not the subjects of hero worship. I often quote the late Dr. Walter Martin who often said, "Question everything someone tells you, even me!"
    Walter Martin knew that people have a tendency to want heroes and someone to look to for encouragement, advice, counsel and wisdom. However he also understood that men can be wrong, especially when it comes to spiritual matters.
    Shortly after he began his religion, Joseph Smith decided to assert his authority and took his Book of Commandments and began to change them (D&C). This was not looked upon in a favorable light by some of his early followers. They formed a different group and declared Smith a fallen prophet. What had started out as a little strange Mormon group founded by Smith, over time went totally bonkers. However some of his early followers had the courage to call it as they saw it. They had the confidence to declare his new revelations null and void. (take a look at Temple Lot for example).
    Modern day SLC Mormons follow their leadership without question. The power they've handed over to these leaders is a recipe for disaster. Would that they'd find some independence some where and begin to question the history of the Mormon religion and the credentials of those (past and present) who call themselves apostles and prophets.

  40. Engkei says:

    I recently found a letter sent by my mother 3 years ago or so. I had put it away, not reading it. I was afraid for some reason to read it. We have had some problems over some issue that happened years ago.

    Any ways in this letter she mentions staying awake for like 3-4 days with no sleep at all. Anguished over something. I am not sure what. But she read the BOM and the miracle of forgiveness during this whole period. I felt so sad reading that, and sorry I didn't read it sooner and respond. I told her that perhaps the source of 'comfort' she sought was also the source of anxiety. I basically asked her to question her experience, and what she thought was the solution. I have yet to hear back from her, I don't know if she will ever respond. What do you think? did I say the right thing? or did I cause more damage? For the first time I really saw the LDS faith as being a real problem for her, and a cause of problems. I had never previously seen events in that light before.

  41. falcon says:

    Hard to say if you did the right thing or not. Time will tell. But the way I look at it, God is sovereign. So we do the best we can do and trust Him for the results. If we fumble the ball, we learn and move on. I think your wisdom regarding what you said to her is correct. Those two books she was reading won't bring her any closer to Christ and the healing power He offers.
    Jesus said that He came that we might have life and have it more abundantly. This comes with the knowledge that He has secured for us total forgiveness for our sins through the blood of His cross. That's why Paul said that he wasn't ashamed of the Gospel or the cross for that matter. Because that's where the power of forgiveness and the release of our guilt comes.
    Let me tell you, if it weren't for that fact, I'd be a basket case, racked with guilt about any number of things that have occurred in my life. One of the most difficult things for us to do is to accept God's forgiveness through Jesus Christ. We bury the events of our lives like dogs bury bones and then we go and dig them up…..continually. God says that like the east is from the west has He removed our sins and lawless deeds from us. He also said that He will remember them no more. Funny how we want to keep reminding Him of something that He has already forgiven us for and forgotten.
    Pray for your mother that God, through His Holy Spirit will lead (your mother) to Christ where she will find forgiveness.

  42. wyomingwilly says:

    falcon, you said concerning the Mormon people, " The power they've handed over to these leaders
    is a recipe for disaster. "

    Sad is'nt it ? How decent people who are trying to live a life that honors God could be so misled
    into thinking Christ's church needs a prophet at the head of it . Would that the Mormon people
    see in Jesus their prophet . His Word is our spiritual food, His presence our delight, His return
    our hope. May the Mormon people dismiss their prophets from their lives and come to fully
    experience Jesus as their only " Temple recommend " .


  43. falcon says:

    Here's a good question, "Do the Mormon 'prophets" know they are false prophets?" The point is that there are false prophets through out the world who are con men who have no belief what-so-ever in the lies and fraud they perpetrate and there are those who are blinded by their own ambition and early indoctrination in a cult. When we look at the modern day Mormon "prophets" I do wonder if at least some of them "get it" but go on playing out the charade because, like the rich young ruler in the Bible, they have way too much skin in the game to give it up.
    People can rationalize their fraud in all sort of ways as do Mormons who come to see the religion for what it is. The most common refrain is, "The church might not be true but it does a lot of good." That would be akin to giving someone a placebo because it makes them feel better emotionally but has no real effect on their disease.
    In Mormonism, as in all humanity, the disease is an unregenerated spirit. The cure is being born again by the Spirit of God through faith in Jesus Christ. This is not possible in Mormonism despite the fact that Mormons borrow the vocabulary of evangelical Christianity i.e. "I've accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior." The follow up question should be, "Who is this Jesus that you say you've accepted as your Savior?" The Jesus of Mormonism is not the Jesus revealed in the Bible. The Mormon Jesus is a different Jesus, not the qualified Savior that grants eternal life.
    So whether the Mormon "prophets" actually know they are false prophets is immaterial because the result is the same regardless of their own personal awareness of the fraud of which they are apart of. There are people practicing alternative medicine who believe in it but whose "cures" have no ability to make the sick person well.
    Jesus is the answer, not a prophet or a church group. Anyone who invests their time, money, efforts and not least of all their souls to false prophets, may think they're "cured" but they are totally spiritually debilitated.

  44. wyomingwilly says:

    Jesus warned of future false prophets. But how will we know them? Is there spiritual safety in being
    able to identify them ? Mormon leaders claim to be prophets.Do we evaluate their claim by seeking
    for a feeling that would then be our confirmation that they are trustworthy and reliable spokesmen for
    God ? Do Mormon leaders' inner conviction, their counsel, issue some doctrines that are not
    spiritually safe ? Let's look at this whole area of trustworthy reliable products, first the secular:
    Late last year the insurance Industry's annual list of safest new vehicles was issued. The Insurance
    Institute for Highway Safety recognized 66 vehicles with it's " top safety pick ". One comment from
    Toyota was interesting, " ……our ongoing commitment tp developing safe and RELIABLE vehicles
    for our customers. " Is'nt this what we should expect from a trustworthy company? But what about
    spiritual leaders, prophets? Should they issue a accurate , trustworthy product also ? [ part 1 ]

  45. wyomingwilly says:

    [ part 2 ]
    For LDS who fly, do you know if your airline offers a safe product ? Can you trust airline officials
    to relay accurate information to the public? Are you safe in a plane that has a track record of safety
    violations/concerns ? Recently Southwest Airlines just grounded 80 of it's jets after a "mishap "
    occurred in one of it's jets( a hole was torn from the passenger cabin ! ) FAA records show that
    maintainance problems in the plane — 8 instances . Our LDS friends should seek to know their
    prophets/apostles teaching track record. Spiritual safety of all LDS is at stake. Do LDS care?
    perhaps striving to live a moral lifestyle is all that matters to LDS. Well, we here care for the spiritual
    safety of our LDS friends. Following is only a small sample of why.

  46. wyomingwilly says:

    Do Mormon officials provide trustworthy spiritual guidance ? Are some of their teachings spiritually
    unsafe? Mormon leaders claim to offer safe reliable spiritual guidance, it has even been called
    " pure unpolluted guidance" at Gen Conference. This counsel is deemed to be spiritually safe
    because it is claimed to be relayed from God. In Gen. Conference it has also been pronounced,
    " the voice of the living prophet bearing God's message is clear, and sure, and SAFE, and direct."
    Is this true? Consider: LDS trusting in an Apostles counsel and authority to accurately lead them
    to safety accross the plains to Salt Lake City. Yet many died trusting this counsel. A trails historian
    Lyndia Carter lays much of the blame for this tragedy on Mormon Apostle Franklin D. Richards.
    He gave counsel for LDS to be faithful and prayerful and to be obedient to Mormon leaders, and he
    did this while prophecising in God's name, according to a record of the event by one of the handcart
    captains. No doubt the faithful LDS who later perished had received an inner witness , a spiritual
    confirmation that this Apostle was reliable in hearing from God.

  47. wyomingwilly says:

    More personal revelation: Bill Hoffman, father of former Mormon missionary Mark Hoffman, testified
    that his son was not guilty of the murders he had committed in relation to his forgery of early Mormon
    documents scam gone bad. Bill Hoffman 's feeling, his inner witness, was wrong about his son.
    Concerning this episode in recent Mormon history, we see how Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley also
    believed in a inner conviction that Mark Hoffman was a reliable document dealer. Hinckley testified,
    "we relied on the integrity of Mr. Hoffman..," But Hinckley and fellow Mormon leaders were deceived.
    Their personal revelation in this matter was inaccurate. Many LDS followed their counsel.
    So may our Mormon friends take Jesus' warning more seriously and begin to "test the spirits" [1Jn.4:1]
    To be misled by a prophet on fundamental doctrines( who God is etc) is to be spiritually in danger of
    missing out on Eternal life, no matter how moral the lifestyle. ww

  48. falcon says:

    A Christian pastor, a good reliable guy, said that God told him that he would live to be 100 years old. He died of cancer well short of 100. He was a good guy, popular, a straight shooter and honest. He was obviously wrong about what he thought God told him.
    To be honest, I have had instances where I thought God was telling me something, but He was clearly not. It's a good thing that I've become very cautious about what I say God tells me. Being the creative type, who does a lot of reading and meditating there are all kinds of ideas and impressions that flow through my mind. I've learned to be very deliberate and contemplative when it comes to spiritual matters.
    Here's the problem, men or women who believe they are prophets don't have a check in the executive function of their brain or in their spirits. Way too many of these people whether in cults or in doctrinally solid Christian groups don't understand the power of the human soul to produce what they think are God inspired spiritual experiences or revelations or "a word from the Lord".
    I very much believe in the Gifts of the Holy Spirit described in First Corinthians chapters 12-14, but I also believe strongly in the instructions that Paul gives to the church regarding there use. People can get way overly impressed with themselves regarding these things and when pride and ego take over, the results can be disastrous. This is what happens in cults. Individuals need to be proactive in questioning and demanding accountability among those advertising themselves as prophets.

  49. wyomingwilly says:

    falcon, you're right about the need for individuals to demand accountability from from leaders
    who claim to be prophets. I think that you'll agree though that this is not an easy thing for a person
    to do if they happen to belong to a autocratic religion like Mormonism or the Watchtower Society.
    For a person in these types of churches to question or criticize the prophet is akin to questioning
    God. Submission to the prophet is expected as a sign of loyalty to God. LDS can free themselves
    from this arrangement by exchanging their prophet for a complete relationship with Jesus. Heb 7:25


  50. falcon says:

    Yup and that's the point; to challenge folks in groups like this to 1) start thinking for themselves and 2) come to the realization that we are complete in Christ without the need for a religious group or leaders within that group to give out "revelations". Pure foolishness. I know it takes some fortitude, but it is in Jesus that we should place our confidence not in flawed men.

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